Happy 2019

As we begin this new year what a great opportunity for you to get into God‘s Word, and for God’s Word to get into you. We would love to help you in this process, so we are excited to announce our new daily devotional and Bible reading schedule for 2019. We’re asking you for five days a week, and five minutes a day in God’s Word. Our Bible reading plan will take you through the entire New Testament in one year. Five days a week, you will be assigned a chapter to read from the New Testament and the daily devotional will come from various verses in that chapter. Please join us as we journey through the New Testament in 2019.

December 31, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO RESTORE MY BOLDNESS (part 1)

II Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;…….12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day

“BE NOT…..ASHAMED”
Paul encourages Timothy to have boldness. He tells Timothy not to be ashamed of a few things. He says do not be ashamed of:

  1. THE MESSAGE OF GOD
    This word “testimony” means something evidential, evidence given or witness. This simply means God’s Word. It is the evidence that has been written down.

• Psalm 119:31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame
• Psalm 119:24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.

  • John 3:31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. 32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. 33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.

‘Timothy, do not ever be ashamed of God’s Word.’ May each of us take that advice. God’s Word was not popular in Jesus’ day, and it is not popular in our day. Oh, there are certain little phrases and verses here and there that end up on signs, quotes, and billboards. The world is ok with a small portion of God’s Word, but they hate the rest of it. They like it if they can take it out of context and conveniently fit it into their humanistic philosophy. But if someone arises and boldly shares the unedited, uninhibited truth of God’s Word, they quickly scorn, bash, and seek to assassinate it quickly. Do not claim that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Do not claim that God hates sin. Do not dare teach any of the passages that teach separation from the world. The church even gets upset with that one.

Either we accept all of God’s Word, or none of it. Either we believe it all or we don’t at all. If you doubt God’s Word, you doubt God. To doubt one thing about the Lord is to put a doubt in your mind about everything of the Lord. You see, if I doubt the Word of God, that means I doubt the claim that God is able. Let me put it this way, in this passage, you and I will not believe verse twelve if we do not practice verse eight. If I am ashamed of His Word, then I am not persuaded that He is able. “Be not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.”

December 29, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO RENEW MY MIND (part 2)

II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day

Everything in verse seven transpires in the mind. When we have confidence in God’s ability, it frees us from fleshly fear, and produces miraculous might. Notice what else confidence in God produces:

AFFECTIONATE ATTITUDE
The word “love” in verse seven is the word “agape” love, which means affection or benevolence. Our flesh is not equipped to feel love for individuals that persecute or imprison us. but Paul did. Paul had that kind of spirit as he wrote this letter from prison. God had given Paul the spirit of love. God is able to do that, but we are not. The closer to God we become, the more we become like God. Paul, while under persecution, is encouraging Timothy to stir up the gifts that God had given him, but what often stops us is not circumstances but people. We don’t have to love what people do, but we need to have a loving spirit towards people. Our flesh might not always love them, but we should always have a loving spirit towards them. The flesh may not be able to feel that way, but our spirit should. That is why we must walk in the spirit, not walk in the flesh.
• John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

TRANSFORMED THINKING
God can give us a “SOUND” mind. This means a disciplined, self- controlled mind.
• Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…….,3. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith

Notice what is required to renew our minds:
• 1) It takes Grace
• 2) It takes humility
• 3) It takes discipline
• 4) it takes faith

December 28, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO RENEW MY MIND (part 1)

II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day

Notice first what self-confidence produces:
FLESHLY FEAR

This is what our ability produces. The word “fear” is the word timidity. Fear caused by intimidation. Often, damage is not done by what we fear. Damage is normally done by the fact that we fear it. Damage is done by our fear, not by what we fear. It is like watching a scary movie: we don’t jump because the person reached out of the TV and grabbed us, we jump because our mind is afraid that they will.

• Psalm 53:5 There were they in great fear, where no fear was:

There is often no real substance to what we fear. We are afraid of what people might say, not what they have said. We are intimidated by what might happen, not by what has happened. We are worried about what people might think, not what they really do think. God didn’t create this or start that. That comes from us. Satan cannot really damage us, He just needs to convince us to be intimidated as if he could.

Notice what confidence in God produces:
MIRACULOUS MIGHT

This word power is the Greek word ”dunamis” which means force, miraculous power, a miracle itself, ability, abundance, or mighty work. What an amazing word.

• Isaiah 40:29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

That fear stuff and intimidation stuff came from our flesh. This miraculous power stuff came from God. That is why we must be PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE. Our strength runs out, but God has given us the spirit of miraculous might. We get tired, but God gives miraculous energy. In its very name, it is not a physical manifestation, but a “spirit” of power. We will not access this in our flesh, but only through the Spirit of God.

December 27, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO STIR UP MY GIFT (part 3)

II Timothy 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day

WHEN WE ARE PERSUADED THAT GOD IS ABLE

  1. WE ARE REMINDED
    5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also

“When I call to remembrance”. Here in verse five, Timothy is reminded of the faith that was already in Him. He was reminded that his faith was sincere. He was reminded that he had been blessed with faithful people in his life. Timothy is reminded that his mentor had confidence in him. Timothy was reminded how his family had taught and poured into his life.

  1. WE ARE REKINDLED
    The term here is “stir up”. Do you realize that when Paul challenges Timothy to kindle his fire, kindle is not a word that means to start or create? It just means to keep. We do not build the fire, nor do we have the ability to do so. God just asked us to keep it burning. God has not asked us to create our gift. God has just asked us to stir it up. When we fail in our ability we get discouraged, but when we are victorious through God’s ability, it stirs us.
  2. WE ARE REPLACED
    Notice the words, “the gift of God”. “Of God” makes all the difference. We are replaced by Him. Our ability is replaced by His ability. Our defeats are replaced by His victories. You see, once we are convinced that God is able, we are automatically convinced that we are not. The more we see of Him, the less we want to see of ourselves. And that is exactly where God wants us to be. Not confident in ourselves, but confident in Him.

December 26, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO STIR UP MY GIFT (part 2)

II Timothy 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day

WHEN WE ARE PERSUADED THAT “WE” ARE ABLE:

  1. WE FAIL
  2. WE GET DISCOURAGED
  3. WE GET TIRED
    That is logically the next step. When we fail, we get discouraged, and when we get discouraged, we get tired. A basketball player gets renewed energy when they make a shot. We get energy when there is a spiritual victory. There may be many of us today that are just tired. We may claim that we are tired because we have been so busy serving God using the gifts that God has given. But really, we are tired because we have been using those gifts without God’s power
  4. WE GET COLD
    When we finally get to the point that we are spiritually tired, we only have two options. We can either CHANGE or be CONTENT. Being content is a lot easier than changing. I mean we are already tired, who feels like taking on the challenge of changing. And why should we put forth the effort to change, we seem to fail in every spiritual battle we face, we will probably just fail at this to. We are given here the illustration of fire. Paul says that Timothy needs to stir up his gift. The word “STIR” means “TO KINDLE”. Paul is saying if you don’t kindle this fire, it will eventually burn out. When it burns out, you will get cold.

In the next devotion, we will discuss how things are when we are convinced that “God is able”. Think of these four things that occur when we rely on our own ability. It should provide motivation for you and I to give up believing that we are able to do anything on our own. We are not able, but God is.